PCHC shares progress on new pediatrics facility

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Construction is underway on Penobscot Community Health Care's new pediatrics facility.

PCHC purchased the former Verizon call center on Union Street in Bangor last fall with plans to transform it.

Officials say plans are still on track.

The new facility will be twice the size of their current peds center.

Lori Dwyer, President, CEO of PCHC says, "It is entirely framed out. A lot of the sheet rock is up, particularly on the second floor which is where the pediatrics center will be."

The space will include 30 exam rooms, up from 22 exam rooms at the current center.

Dwyer says, "We have been exceeding our space capacity for a very long time at our pediatrics practice for many years. This space is going to allow us to expand the number of mental health and primary care providers that we have, increase the number of services we are able to provide, and importantly meet a community need that our community has told us is there."

PCHC's team of pediatric care providers helped save City Councilor Ben Sprague's new-born child after correctly identifying a dangerous infection and taking appropriate action.

He says, "There are hundreds, thousands of babies in this state born every year that could go through something similar, so to have a pediatric center in the community, it's just going to be so important for us."

A recently released Community Health Needs Assessment report identifies a need for more affordable mental health care for kids, something PCHC will address within their facility.

Dwyer says, "We're trying to keep kids healthy. We're trying to make sure that we address needs early in a child's life. We're trying to make sure we are designing family interventions that are going to be meaningful and are going to set those kids on a course for a healthy productive life. This is an investment in the community."

Officials say it's more than just a building.

Sprague says, "There are so many kids and regardless of income status or background or experiences they've gone through, they're going to be able to get care here. That's just so important. It's a great community asset for us."

The new space is expected to be open this fall.

To learn more about the campaign or to donate, you can visit PCHCKids.com.